Schlitz Was Wrong!
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 Isa 51:9 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD! Awake as in the ancient days, In the generations of old. Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart, And wounded the serpent? (A reference to Egypt)  10 Are You not the One who dried up the sea, The waters of the great deep; That made the depths of the sea a road For the redeemed to cross over?  (This is a prayer that is the equivalent of ďCome Lord Jesus! Return and judge the earthĒ) 11 So the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; Sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (A picture of eternal life) 12 "I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid Of a man who will die, And of the son of a man who will be made like grass? 13 And you forget the LORD your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens And laid the foundations of the earth; You have feared continually every day Because of the fury of the oppressor, When he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor? (Remember our all powerful and all faithful God, we have nothing to fear from our spiritual enemies!) 14 The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed, That he should not die in the pit, And that his bread should not fail. (ďThe captive exile hastens,Ē Thatís us! We are the captive exiles! Where is our sense of urgency, of hastening  for the Lord to come again and set us free from these earthly tents?) 15 But I am the LORD your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared-The LORD of hosts is His name. 16 And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, Lay the foundations of the earth, And say to Zion, 'You are My people.'"(He has given us His Word and His protection so that we may be His people for all eternity in the new heavens and the new earth!)

 2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
 6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

 Lu 20:27 Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 28 saying: "Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 "Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife, and died without children.
 30 "And the second took her as wife, and he died childless. 31 "Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died. 32 "Last of all the woman died also. 33 "Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife." 34 And Jesus answered and said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage.
35 "But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 "nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 "But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord 'the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' 38 "For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him." 39 Then some of the scribes answered and said, "Teacher, You have spoken well." 40 But after that they dared not question Him anymore.

What is the hope of the Christian? Why are you here today? What are you hoping for? I hope you answered, ďmy hope is a bodily resurrection unto eternal life.Ē Thatís the goal. None of us really know what that will look like, it is an unseen reality, that we simply take by faith. But without such a belief, such faith.....what would be the point of being a Christian?

Paul says it so well in his first letter to the Corinthians:

 1Co 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. (Heís still in some tomb in the Mideast that hasnít been uncovered yet!)

 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up--if in fact the dead do not rise.
 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.
(If itís impossible for the dead to rise, then Jesus Christ didnít rise because HE was and is fully human and fully God and He was just as dead as you or I will one day be,  should the Lord tarry.)

 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! (If Christ didnít rise, God didnít accept His atoning sacrifice and you and I are still stuck in our sins, but hey, who cares. If thereís no resurrection, Schlitz was right! Grab all the gusto you can because  you only go around once!

 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. ( All those sweet notions about the dearly beloved who passed away are just that ....sweet notions.  Yes, as Paul says......

 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

But, Jesus Christ did rise from the dead! He is Risen!....., Schlitz was wrong! And we have it on the testimony of many supremely reliable witnesses: Again, the apostle Paul:

 1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
Thatís quite a few eye witnesses, and the fact that in spite of threat of death and torture, they never changed their story speaks mounds about the legitimacy of their testimony. I mean some of us will lie, just to get out of a dentist appointment! He is risen!

In our Gospel lesson we see that the Sadducees of Jesus day were to be pitied. They didnít believe in the resurrection of the dead. Itís why they were ďsad, you see?Ē And I love the way they come at Him to make their case.

They go out of their way to make a ridiculous, yet possible  scenario in order to prove there is no resurrection.   ( It reminds me of how we often go to extreme scenarios in order to justify  what we choose to believe and disbelieve about the Bible.

They bring up a Law of Moses that was called the Levirate Law. levir meaning, ďhusbandís brother.Ē I want to spend a little time looking at that portion of Scripture before we get back to our text.

 De 25:5 "If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband's brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. 6 "And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.

 7 "But if the man does not want to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, 'My husband's brother refuses to raise up a name to his brother in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.' 8 "Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him. But if he stands firm and says, 'I do not want to take her,'  9 "then his brother's wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and answer and say, 'So shall it be done to the man who will not build up his brother's house.' 10 "And his name shall be called in Israel, 'The house of him who had his sandal removed.'

By the way, understanding this passage will help you if you ever go through the Book of Ruth, but anyway, this is kind of a bizarre portion of Scripture for us who did not grow up in biblical times.

The Law required that a surviving brother was to marry his brotherís widow, so as to continue his brotherís family line through the son that might be born of this second marriage. This was an important law, especially since the Messiah was to come from the Jews, and a family was not to be denied this opportunity just in case they were in the lineage of Christ. The possibility of inheritance must be kept alive.

Furthermore, it was a compassionate response to meeting the needs of a widow by providing her with children to take care of her in her old age. This law is still in effect in some Jewish circles. (Why not, they believe the Messiah has not yet come!)
About 5 years ago I read of an incident in Israel where a Jewish womanís husband died and she was seeking to be released from her obligation to marry his brother. He refused and she could not by law remarry until he changed his mind.

We of course are under no such obligation today, the Messiah has come! We have our inheritance! However, we are under obligation to continue to provide spiritual and material care for the widows in our midst. (Especially those who are lacking care from their families)

So the Sadducees bring up an extreme case of the law of the levirate to disprove the resurrection. They say, ďif there is a resurrection, what a mess in heaven!Ē Seven men are stuck with one wife, or one wife is stuck with seven husbands....thatís not heaven! Thatís a mess!

And Jesus responds by giving us some insight into what heaven will be like. He says, marriage is for the here and now, it is not for the hereafter. There will be no need for the biblical function of marriage in heaven. Why? Because there is no need to procreate. No one dies!

This also gives us some insight into the purpose for marriage on earth. it is to procreate! God told Adam and Eve and HE told Noah and his sons and their wives to ďbe fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth! Malachi writes concerning marriage:

 Mal 2:15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring.
That is the number one reason for marriage, but the church and itís false love affair with birth control has turned it into something else. Society has corrupted this sacred institution and itís purpose.

There was an article in the paper the other day that stated 4 out of every 10 births in America now occur out of wedlock. So much for the institution that God loves and has sanctified, and its purpose. So much for waiting until the permanent bonding of  marriage before having children which would then be according to Godís plans rather than our lusts.    

So if we arenít given to marriage in heaven, what will my relationship with Joanie be like? Well, I wonít have coffee breath anymore. IT WILL BE PERFECT! And if itís perfect.....donít ask me, because Iím not! Iím far from perfect. ( and Joanie gives that admission a silent amen!)

What will the relationship between the seven husbands and the one wife be? I donít know, but it will be perfect!

Now, by being equal to the angels, Jesus is just saying that we will no longer have to deal with death. We arenít going to be turned into angels like Clarence in Itís A Wonderful Life.


Then He uses Scripture to prove once and for all that there is a resurrection, because when Moses spoke to the burning bush he called Jehovah the ďGod of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.Ē These guys were long dead, and make no mistake about it Jesus affirms that they are spending life in eternity right now by using this passage.

God is the God of living, not the dead.

In our epistle lesson Paul also talks about our blessed hope of the resurrection:  

2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Now, what is a tent? Besides providing hours of entertainment for my family whenever I try to set one up, .......it is a temporary dwelling.

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we know that our bodies are just temporary dwelling places for our souls, and that one day, if we persevere in our faith, our bodies will be raised from the grave and put together in a glorified state, a mansion prepared by Jesus for our souls, and these glorified bodies will become our permanent eternal residence.

2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
 3 if indeed, having been clothed, (If indeed having been baptized and wearing the robe of the righteousness of Christ given to us at our baptism) we shall not be found naked.  

4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, (Not because we hate this life,) but further clothed, (more like Christ) that mortality may be swallowed up by life. (We groan because we look forward to our permanent dwelling.....our extreme makeover)

5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. (The fact that the Spirit indwells your tent and your soul is receiving His gift of faith which in turn produces works, is the guarantee of eternal life)

 6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. (We know without having yet seen that better things are to come)

 1Co 2:9 But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

No wonder Paul then writes:

 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.  9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
(We make it our aim to walk in the Spirit)

Why do we seek to live lives pleasing to God? Because we know that whether living or dying we are present with Him, (We are His child now through faith and that relationship will not change when we die, it will only become clarified.

 1Jo 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
 And furthermore, we will all appear before the judgement seat of Christ.

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

There will be a public judgement before God, men, and angels of the things you have thought, said, or  done in your temporary dwelling....your tent. Your life will be flashed on a big trinitron for all to see! Most of us, probably wouldnít want our thoughts, words, and deeds of today shown, much less our entire life!

This is a scary thought!
Let me turn to the Lutheran commentator Lenski and the Gospel of Matthew to help you understand how this works.

Lenski says,  we are all judged now by God and in the instant of death. God knows the state of your faith now and he will know it at the time of your death. He alone knows your heart. This judgement is secret and some are going to be very surprised who is found ďinĒ and who is tossed out on that Last Day.  

The Judgement rendered at your death is permanent.

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

You are either in or out.

The Judgement spoken of here by Paul is what is called the Last Judgement. It is public and the verdict of God handed down at your death is publicly substantiated and established before the entire universe as being entirely just.

Letís turn to the Book of Matthew to see how this will play out:


 Mt 25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.  
33 "And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  34 "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  35 'for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  36 'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'  

Here we see the marks of a true Christian. These are the kinds of works that are produced by true faith in Jesus. They could be summed up in one commandment. ďLove your neighbor as yourself!Ē

Now, remember, this is a public judgement, the books are open for all to see the evidence, and I want you to note the concern of the believers as they look at the books. All they see is a blank page!  

 37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  38 'When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  39 'Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'

When Lord....itís not in here! In other words, Lord, these pages are empty, theyíre white as snow! Why are they white? Because those who believe and are baptized  have the robe of righteousness of Jesus Christ, and every good thing HE ever did, including the things He did through them, like simply giving someone a cup of cold water in Jesus names is credited to their account.

 40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

Not so for those without true faith in Christ.

 41 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 'for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;  43 'I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'  44 "Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?'  45 "Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'  46 "And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."  

Oh the poor unbeliever, every thought, word, and deed, good or bad in full public view. Yes,  they will be able to point at all sorts of good things they did, theyíll be there in black and white for all to see, but the fact that they show up in the books on the Last Day is evidence against them, because they did them in the flesh apart from faith in Christ.

Faith in Christ is essential, no one will be saved by their deeds apart from Him. Thatís why {Paul says our aim is to please God, because without faith it is impossible to please Him.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

This pleasing faith, produces works that will be rewarded on the Last Day because they prove to all that you have diligently sought after God, that you walked in the Spirit.

Some of you may be thinking, we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work. These kind of loving deeds are absent in my life. Well, I would say  yes and no. Yes, you may have a problem, but the solution is not to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Thatís the mistake the goats made.

What we really need to do is tend to our faith. Because true faith automatically produces works. Go back to your baptism.  Daily revisit the realities of the washing away of your sins, and the kindling of your faith. Remember your guarantee, the deposit of the Holy Spirit. Stop grieving Him with your disobedience of Godís Word....your sins.
Allow Him to convict you of your sins and produce godly sorrow in your heart. Then repent of your sins. Receive the forgiveness of your sins. Die to the old man, and now, free from the penalty of your sins, live in liberty, a new man in Christ, ready to serve and love others. Ready to provide that cup of water to whomever He sends your way.   

This is how we attain to the bodily resurrection from the dead.! He who believes and is baptized shall be saved. I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.
Know it!  Believe it! Remember, Schlitz was wrong, there is more after we die, now live like he was wrong! Start today by coming back to Jesus, yield your life to Him.